HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu's top prosecutor is defending his office's decision not to pursue charges in two recent deadly stabbing cases. The first incident took place on January 22 near Queen's Beach in Waikiki. Prosecuting attorney Keith Kaneshiro said surveillance video shows the victim, Brycen Iona, 20, and his friend arguing with Julian Billimon, who is homeless. Investigators said Iona and his friend took two backpacks and a bag of food belonging to Billimon and his girlfriend. When Billimon confronted them to get the belongings back, authorities said he was hit by a can of beer and then punched. According to Kaneshiro, Billimon then stabbed the men as a justified use of deadly force.
The other case happened at Mayor Wright Homes last Friday. Benjamin Rekis, 33, was killed and three other men were hurt during a large fight. Kaneshiro said Enrico Golden was knocked over and was being hit by several men when he took out his knife and stabbed them.
"The prosecutor's job is not to seek convictions, but to seek justice, and sometimes a difficult job is what cases not to charge based on the evidence," explained Kaneshiro.
Kaneshiro said under the law of self-defense, you can use deadly force if your life is in danger or there is a threat of serious bodily harm. In both cases, a deputy prosecutor made the recommendation not to pursue charges. The decision was reviewed and approved by supervisors, as well as Kaneshiro. He said while the victims' families may be upset, the decisions were based on the evidence and the law, not emotions.